Family of dead soldier whose body was found near Vanessa Guillen's slam Army for not giving him military funeral because they declared him AWOL when he went missing

The family of a US serviceman whose remains were found during the search for another missing soldier says the Army is denying him a burial with full military honors by falsely claiming he was a ‘deserter.’
The remains of Pvt. Gregory Scott Morales, 24, of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, was found last month in Killeen, Texas, the host town of the Fort Hood Army base. His skeletal remains were discovered during the search for Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, 20.
But his family is ineligible to collect a $400,000 life insurance policy because the military says Morales went AWOL before he died. 
‘It's frustrating and sad, because like I said he gave his life, and was willing to give his life for his country and was deployed twice,’ Nick Wedel, Morales’ brother, told KXXV-TV.
The body of Pvt. Gregory Scott Morales, 24, of Oklahoma, was found on June 19 in a field near the 3200 block of Florence Road near Killeen, Texas after officials at the nearby Fort Hood base received a tip. He had disappeared from the base last August
The body of Pvt. Gregory Scott Morales, 24, of Oklahoma, was found on June 19 in a field near the 3200 block of Florence Road near Killeen, Texas after officials at the nearby Fort Hood base received a tip. He had disappeared from the base last August
Vanessa Guillen, 20, was reported missing from Fort Hood on April 22 shortly after she told her family she was being sexually harassed and felt unsafe
Vanessa Guillen's mother claimed she had complained to her about a sergeant sexually harassing her before her disappearance
The remains of Private First-Class Vanessa Guillen, 20, were found days after the skeletal remains of Morales were discovered. She was reported missing from Fort Hood on April 22 shortly after she told her family she was being sexually harassed and felt unsafe
‘They are just treating him like trash, like he doesn't matter.’
He added: ‘We can't do a military funeral, because he's considered a civilian and basically a criminal. So anything that we want to do, we​ have to pay for ourselves.
‘The life insurance... we don't get the life insurance and we don't get to bury him with military honors​ like we wanted to next to his uncle and his grandfather who is a retired major and where he wants to be buried.’
A team of about 30 volunteers discovered the remains on June 19 while searching for Spc Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old servicemember who was also stationed at Fort Hood.
Guillen was last seen alive on April 22.
Morales’ remains were found in a field near the 3200 block of Florence Road after officials at the nearby base received a tip of a body there, according to Killeen police.
Foul play is suspected while an autopsy is pending to determine the cause and manner of death, according to a release from Army CID public affairs chief Chris Grey.
The family is demanding that the Army give Morales a burial with full military honors.
But the Army declared Morales a deserter. He disappeared just days before he was scheduled to end his military service.
Morales, who was also known as Gregory Wedel, was last seen on August 19, 2019 driving his personal vehicle outside of Fort Hood
He was to be discharged within days after his disappearance, the Army said
Morales, who was also known as Gregory Wedel, was last seen on August 19, 2019 driving his personal vehicle outside of Fort Hood. He was to be discharged within days after his disappearance, the Army said.
A $25,000 reward was being offered for information about his death
A $25,000 reward was being offered for information about his death
Both Morales and Guillen were stationed at the Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas
Both Morales and Guillen were stationed at the Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas
Kim Wedel, Morales’ mother, told the Army Times that she has ‘fought from Day One’ with military officials who informed her that her son was AWOL.
Military investigators told Wedel that Morales left his base on his own and there was no proof that anything bad happened to him.
‘The proof is he disappeared,’ Wedel said.
‘He had no money and he’s not answering the phone. There’s something wrong.’
She added: ‘I was kind of ignored.’
So far, police and military investigators have shared few details as to what happened to Morales.
But Kim Wedel hopes that an autopsy, whose results are due sometime in the next few weeks, will reveal not only how her son died but when he died.
‘We’ve been told he’s a deserter unless the autopsy results come back and prove that he’s been dead since he disappeared,’ Wedel said.
‘I don’t know if an autopsy can be that specific, but it would be pretty strange to assume he just disappeared for a few months and then was killed right outside the base.’
Local law enforcement officials who are investigating Morales’ death confirmed that they suspect foul play.
‘The Killeen Police Department can confirm that foul play is suspected,’ Ofelia Miramontez, a spokeswoman for the department, told the Army Times.
‘Since the investigation is ongoing, we are not going to release any other information at this time.’
Morales was last seen in his personal vehicle in Killeen on August 19, 2019. He was driving his Black KIA Rio with temporary Texas license plates.
After Morales went missing, the case went cold until May, when Wedel’s daughter-in-law, who is married to Morales’ brother, found his car on Carfax.
The website said that it was sold at auction in Dallas this past December.
Officials at the Fort Hood army base in Texas announced an investigation into missing woman Vanessa Guillen's claims she was sexually harassed last week
Officials at the Fort Hood army base in Texas announced an investigation into missing woman Vanessa Guillen's claims she was sexually harassed last week
Authorities say Spc. Aaron David Robinson fled Fort Hood on Tuesday night before he could be arrested by Army criminal investigators
Cecily Anne Aguilar, 22, was identified as the second suspect
Authorities said suspect Spc Aaron David Robinson (left) killed himself after Guillen's body was discovered. Cecily Aguilar (right), 22, the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier, was arrested last week on suspicion she helped Robinson dismember and dispose of Guillen's body
Wedel said that when she contacted the Army, they told her that they had recovered the vehicle in January and neglected to let her know.
‘You don’t think that would be something to tell us? Why keep that a secret?’ Wedel asked.
‘That was the first time that they even came close to admitting they might have screwed up, and maybe something did happen to him since they recovered the car and he wasn’t with it.’
Wedel asked the Army to put up a reward for her missing son in September, but none was posted.
It took until April for things to change. That was when the Army offered $15,000 to anyone with information about another missing Fort Hood soldier, 20-year-old Spc Vanessa Guillen.
Wedel emailed the Army on April 29 and then made a telephone call demanding to know why no similar reward was posted for her son.
‘It sounds very selfish, but they immediately put out a reward for information for her,’ Wedel said.
‘In September, they told me they were working on a reward for Greg, and so when hers popped up that fast, I said, “Hey, come on, what’s the deal?”’
The next day, the Army offered a $15,000 reward in connection to her son’s case. It was since raised to $25,000.
Days after Morales’ remains were found, investigators also discovered the remains of Guillen.

It has been alleged that Guillen was bludgeoned to death at the armory in Fort Hood by a fellow soldier with a hammer.
Authorities have arrested one suspect in the case but a second suspect identified as Spc Aaron David Robinson killed himself just hours after Guillen's body was discovered.
Robinson fled Fort Hood on Tuesday night before he could be arrested by Army investigators. He shot himself when officials caught up with him early Wednesday morning, officials said.
Cecily Aguilar, 22, the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood soldier, was arrested last week on suspicion she helped Robinson dismember and dispose of Guillen's body.
She is being held on a conspiracy to tamper charge at Bell County Jail and could face 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Wedel thanked the Guillen family for raising awareness about her son’s case.
In a video message last month, Fort Hood Deputy Commander Major General Scott Efflandt pleaded for information on Guillen¿s whereabouts saying: 'We want to bring Vanessa home as efficiently and as rapidly as possible'
In a video message last month, Fort Hood Deputy Commander Major General Scott Efflandt pleaded for information on Guillen’s whereabouts saying: 'We want to bring Vanessa home as efficiently and as rapidly as possible'
Soldiers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment conduct ongoing searches of the training area at Fort Hood, Texas, for missing Trooper Pfc. Vanessa Guillen on June 18
Soldiers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment conduct ongoing searches of the training area at Fort Hood, Texas, for missing Trooper Pfc. Vanessa Guillen on June 18
Soldiers pictured searching for Guillen from June 17 to 18 east of the Fort Hood base
Soldiers pictured searching for Guillen from June 17 to 18 east of the Fort Hood base
‘Her family did a lot to help me out,’ Wedel said.
‘That is one thing I’m truly thankful for her family for doing, keeping his name out there.
‘Because since the beginning, [the Army and local police] basically told me I was on my own to find him.’
Wedel said her son was having personal issues at the time of his disappearance. She said her son was saving money to hire a divorce lawyer.
Morales took his wife’s name after marrying her, according to Wedel.
‘Legally, she has the say-so in everything that happens to him, but she has graciously said that anything we want to do, she’ll let us,’ Wedel said.
‘So we want to bring him back to Oklahoma.’
Morales joined the Army in June 2015 as a motor transport operator and had been assigned to the 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood since November 2016, according to the Army. 
During his service, he was deployed to Korea and Kuwait. He also earned commendation medals.
Wedel said her son was demoted at one time for ‘falling asleep on duty’ but he was still on track to receive an honorable discharge.
She said that on the night of her son’s disappearance, he went to a club and later met up with some friends, but she does not know their names.
Investigators have not divulged any information about the case so it is not known if these individuals were interviewed.
‘So whoever he was with that night is the key to all this,’ Wedel said.
‘If they’re not involved, they have to still know something.’
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Department is cooperating with Killeen police on the Morales case.
The military said that it will re-examine Morales’ status after the results of the autopsy are released.     
Mexican-American film actress Salma Hayek pledged to post pictures of missing soldier Private First Class Vanessa Guillen, 20, on her Instagram page until she is found
Mexican-American film actress Salma Hayek pledged to post pictures of missing soldier Private First Class Vanessa Guillen, 20, on her Instagram page until she is found
Family of dead soldier whose body was found near Vanessa Guillen's slam Army for not giving him military funeral because they declared him AWOL when he went missing Family of dead soldier whose body was found near Vanessa Guillen's slam Army for not giving him military funeral because they declared him AWOL when he went missing Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 02:27 Rating: 5

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